A Travel Counsellor told the nation to “be realistic” about the price of their last-minute holiday when she appeared on BBC Breakfast this morning.
Donna Waddington, who was an agent in Cheshire before joining Travel Counsellors nine years ago, was quizzed by the show’s presenters alongside travel editor of the Independent Simon Calder.
Asked about booking trends, the Woodford-based agent said the company had been “inundated” with enquires for last-minute summer bookings but customers were unrealistic about how much it would cost them.
She said: “Bookings have gone up, it’s been extremely hard to find the holidays. It’s been hard to find the capacity to meet the demand.
“Customers come to me and say their budget starts at £500 for all-inclusive and they want to be near the beach, have tennis courts and five star standard.
“That’s where our expertise comes in. You have to sell the right holiday and to talk to those people. We do find something but they’ve got to be realistic about what’s on offer.”
Customers have to be open-minded about where they travel to, she added.
“You might normally be able to say to somebody where would you like to go, this year I’m having to say would you go to Turkey or Greece. I’ve got Tunisia which might not be top of my list to offer somebody but I’ve having to think outside the box.
“The destinations have changed because of demand – people have to keep an open mind.”
Calder encouraged viewers to hold off on their holiday if they want to save cash. “If you can wait until after September the market will turn around and it will be a real buyers’ market.”
He said the best bargain destination for customers this summer was London.
“After the Olympics there are so many bargains to be had. If you’re not too fussed about the weather, there are plenty of attractions in London, so head for the capital instead.”
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